Sharpening Your Decision-Making Edge

Michael Fassler

Over the past 25+ years of consulting with family businesses, I have been witness to some incredibly effective family business leadership teams. They have a sharpened edge when it comes to making decisions. Not only are their financial results impressive, but the nonfinancial impacts to their families, employees, customers, industries, communities and philanthropic interests are even more remarkable.

In reflecting on the common ground leading to their effectiveness, the following attributes are noteworthy:

  1. They are clear about the strategic direction of the family’s business and their family is committed to the strategy.
  2. They have sufficiently transitioned responsibility for day-to-day operations to be able to spend adequate time focusing on strategic matters.
  3. They continuously focus on building trusting relationships throughout their families and their enterprises. As a result, their speed of decision making matches the urgency of opportunities presented and challenges faced.
  4. They understand the underlying variables that drive their business model and they have access to and use metrics to ground their decisions.
  5. They understand the final call on a decision is based on judgment and they have built confidence in and rely on their judgment.
  6. They cast their net wide for input from their families, management teams and external resources.
  7. They are determined enough to continue with execution through difficult and unforeseen challenges, yet humble enough not to escalate commitment of talent and capital “just to be right.”

Take some time and engage your leadership team in a discussion about effective decision making. Questions to consider asking:

  •  What are the attributes that drive the effectiveness of your leadership team’s decision making?
  • Do you have any gaps? If so, how might you start to fill them?
  • What needs to be done today to extend the effectiveness into the next generation?

Some reflection today can sharpen your decision making edge for tomorrow.